Softimage - any thoughts?

Community Forums/Developer Stations/Softimage - any thoughts?

Skitchy(Posted 2003) [#1]
Never heard of it before today. I'd like to download the 'demo' version (fully featured bar saving) but its 150Mb and I'm still on 56k. :(
Apparently they used it for Half-life 2 AND the Matrix Reloaded so it can't be too bad ;)
And it's fairly cheap (~$1500 I think).
EDIT : That's for the 'basic' version. 'Extreme' version is ~$2500.
Has anybody actually used it, or heard anything good/bad?

Their site is here :

EDIT 2 :
Just found a list of games that used SoftImage in their creation :
Valve: Half-Life 2
Activision: Soldier of fortune 1 & 2
Activision: Dark Reign 2
Activision: Battlezone 1 & 2
Capcom: Resident Evil/Biohazard 0, 1, 2, 3 & nemesis
Capcom: Star Gladiator
Capcom: Devil May Cry 2
Capcom: Onimusha 1 & 2
Curly Monsters: Quantum redshift
Curly Monsters: n-Gen racing
Cyan: Riven
Fasa: Mechwarrior 3
From Software: Armored Core 3
Infogrames: Alone in the dark
Infogrames: Grand prix challenge
Konami: Anubis
Konami: Silent Hill 1, 2 & 3
Konami: Metal Gear Solid 1 & 2
Namco: Dead to Rights
Namco: Pacman World 2
Namco: Soul Calibur
Namco: Tekken 1, 2, 3 & 4
Namco: Tekken Tag Tournament
Namco: Mappy Park
Nintendo: Pikmin
Nintendo: Super Mario64
Nintendo: Smash Brothers
Nintendo: Zelda64
Nintendo: Luigi's Mansion
Pandemic: Star Wars:The Clone Wars
NuFX: NBA Street Vol. 2
Psygnosis: Colony wars
Psygnosis: Codename: Tenka
Psygnosis: Wipeout
Psygnosis: Wipeout XL/2097
Psygnosis: Wipeout 3
Raven Software: Soldier of Fortune
Sega: Shinobi
Sega: F-Zero
Sega: The House of the Dead 3
Sega: Rez
Sega: Super Monkey Ball
Sega: Virtua Fighter 1, 2 & 3
Sega: VF4
Sega: Shenmue
Sega: Jet Set Radio
Sega: Panzer Dragon 1 & 2
Sega: Space Channel 5 1 & 2
Sega: NFL 2K3
Square-Enix: Final Fantasy 7,8,9,10,11&12
Square-Enix: Bouncer
Tecmo: Dead or Alive Extreme Beach VolleyBall

Impressive stuff! Now, if only I could get broadband and download that demo........

c5ven(Posted 2003) [#2]
SoftImage is a very well-known 3D app. goes back a loooong way. it was the original competitor to Alias/Wavefront up in the high-end spectrum. got bought by Microsoft who ported it to NT, dropped the price and then sold it. to keep up, A|W followed suit. a BIG reason for all the price drops started in the category with SoftImage.

it's actually used quite a bit. used to be models were made in Alias Studio or Poweranimator and then taken into SoftImage for completion.

i just d/l'd on a 56k. took about 10 hours (overnight) and had to try twice. haven't loaded yet, but expect it to be on par with the best.

jhocking(Posted 2003) [#3]
Rather funny that you think it's new. Kind of like how nobody knows about Nendo/Mirai I guess Softimage is kind of an insiders only tool. To add to your list Softimage was used in Drakan. I haven't used it in a looong time however so I don't really have any comments on its current functionality.

Skitchy(Posted 2003) [#4]
I didn't think it was new (it's on version 4 for one thing). I'd just never heard of it until I stumbled upon it while looking at some high end video editing stuff. ;)

Still want some input though. Does anybody here use it for personal projects or at work? I'd really like a direct comparison between all the major 3D packages, but I realise that's all highly subjective. The main issue with Softimage would probably be the lack of a direct path to .b3d.

Doggie(Posted 2003) [#5]
It was out on several mags recently on cover disks.
The EXP version at least. It won't let you import or save other than a special demo format and you need at least a 1284 by 1284 or so screen and lots of horsepower since it eats ram like fish suck water. Sorry I can't tell you more since it doesn't run too great on my P4 2.something ghz VAIO

512 ram...blah blah blah

Skitchy(Posted 2003) [#6]
You don't happen to know which magazines do you? My Google search didn't turn up anything?

Doggie(Posted 2003) [#7]
Yeah it was on DIGIT mag 59 disc 1.

It's actually called Softimage|XSI

Tell you what I'm gonna do. Here's my e-mail address.
I'll trade you the cover disk(just the disk, no longer have the mag) for a registered copy of LightBulb! Let me know and I'll mail it to ya. Deal?


Skitchy(Posted 2003) [#8]
Sorry Doggie I missed your post, but on the basis of what I just discovered about SoftImage, I wont be needing that demo after all.

The $1500 version is actually called Softimage 3D. It still sounds good, don't get me wrong, but the flagship product (used by all the real pros) is called Softimage XSI and is priced at...

[deep breath...]

$13,000 US !!!!!!!!!!

And up!


Or you can 'lease' it for 395 per month!

Wont be buying that then.
Still might think about the other version though. ;)

If anybody knows where I can get a direct comparison of the 2 products then please let me know. Their site is a bit of a mess TBH - I actually had to find that price from another site. Maybe they don't want to scare anybody, or maybe it's a case of "if you have to ask then you can't afford it"!

I'd like to see what you get for the extra $11,500. Strangely, I did find an export comparison chart that said the cheap version could export .x files whilst the expensive XSI version could not. Odd.

It does have a nice sounding ASCII file format called dotXSI, which could probably be used quite easily to get animated stuff into Blitz if .x wasn't good enough for you(and yes, the cheap version supports this too).

Something to think about anyway.

Doggie(Posted 2003) [#9]
well frankly I don't understand paying those kind of bucks for 3D programs when there's plenty of way less expensive ones that get the job done with as many features as anyone should ever need. I suppose if you're being budgeted to do a full length animated movie or something then money would be no object...I'd mail you the demo disk for free but I saw a shot and took it! hehe


Skitchy(Posted 2003) [#10]
Well, if it's free Doggie ... I'll take it. I'd like to see what a $13,000 program looks like ;)

c5ven(Posted 2003) [#11]
that $13k sounds about right.

Maya Unlimited was $12k early last year and is now $7k. it's probably the closest comparison to XSI. people forget that A|W really dropped a bombshell when it dropped prices by $5k in the Maya line.

btw, "real pros" also use Maya Complete and Lightwave (and freeware, too). at $2000 and $1500, respectively, those two are pretty nice.

ragtag(Posted 2003) [#12]
I've used SoftImage3D (v.3.6 to 3.8). Just to clarify a few things. SoftImage3D and SoftImageXSI are two different packages. SI3D is old (about 15 years or so), and XSI (a couple of years old) is the next generation of SI3D. Basically, SI3D written from the ground up, with totally new design, interface and functionality. I don't know for how long they will keep updating SI3D, they had some big customers using SI3D (like ILM), but most of these have now moved on to XSI.

Back to SI3D. It's was a great package, at least for film work, but I don't know how good it is for games. The interface is old and takes a while to get you head around, but works fine once you do. The hardware requierments are kind of specific (often requiering high-end graphics cards and specific resolutions). And, as far as I know, there is still no scripting in it (besides plug-ins). The Softimage renderer is not very good, so you would want to use mentalray (which bump the price to $2500 for the SI3D extreme version), and then you also get particles and soft bodies. At that price, maybe you're better of with other tools. Maya Complete costs less.

I hear Lightwave is good (and there was a .b3d exporter for it...right?).


(tu) sinu(Posted 2003) [#13]
im thinking based on the games list that softimage is the best or those top games companies wouldn't be using it now.
Last time i used softimage was with softimage xsi 1.5 and haven't really used it since.

Nendo(been surpassed by wings3D) and mirai are great apps and i can remember being totally gobsmacked at how easy nendo was to use when it first came out.